Protesters voice disappointment over Sen. Gardner’s involvement in new health care bill

Julia Trowbridge

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Protesters lined Shields Street outside of Sen. Gardner’s office with signs like “We Deserve Better” to make a point against the GOP health care bill. (Julia Trowbridge | Collegian)

Approximately 200 people protested outside of Sen. Cory Gardner’s office along Shields Street on June 27 to protest his involvement with the newly released, but recently stalled, Republican health care bill. Gardner was one of thirteen senators that helped shape and give input on the health care bill organized by Trump’s administration.

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The protest, organized by members of Organizing for Action, IndivisibleNoCo, and Fort Collins for Progress, took place near Gardner’s Fort Collins office, but not directly outside of it, since it is located on private property.

Those standing on the sidewalk had many personal reasons for participating in the rally.

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Art Campfield and Lloyd Walker stand among the protesters to fight for their right to health care, because their insurance has a chance of increasing by five times the amount with this GOP health care bill. (Julia Trowbridge | Collegian)

Art Campfield, an attendee, said the expansion of Medicaid has helped his son get back on his feet.

“My son’s life was turned around because of the Medicaid expansion,” Campfield said. “He has a good life and a job and friends now. I don’t want that taken away from him.”

Arguments that the only numbers the health care bill is cutting down on are human lives were made by protesters like Andrew Bondi, a member of Fort Collins for Progress.

“It’s concerning to me that this bill was written and negotiated behind closed doors,” Bondi said. “To me, that is the opposite of democracy. These are people’s lives that the health care bill is putting at risk. The congressmen need to remember that.”

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David Trask, one of the protesters, is standing against the racking of social costs that come with the loss of healthcare coverage with the GOP health care bill. (Julia Trowbridge | Collegian)

Suzanne Trask, a member of Organizing for Action, originally worked for the organization in order to get the Affordable Care Act passed in 2009. Trask opposes the GOP health care bill because she has seen benefits from the Affordable Care Act passing.

“I personally resent this health care bill because it’s trying to dismantle what people took months working on to put together, just so they can say they repealed Obamacare,” Trask said. “And, the cutting of Medicaid funding would have a terrible impact on Colorado, especially rural hospitals, where repealing of the Affordable Care Act could defund hospitals.”

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Protesters lined Shields Street outside of Sen. Gardner’s office with signs like “We Deserve Better” to protest the GOP health care bill. (Julia Trowbridge | Collegian)

 

Don Kipp, another attendee, wanted to remind the senator of a point that John McCain made in 2008, and a stance that Gardner has made on his website: health care costs too much.

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“We need to work on the cost of health care to enable access to those who are unable to get it,” Kipp said.

Collegian reporter Julia Trowbridge can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @chapin_jules.